First (and maybe last) elderberry wine

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BarrelMonkey

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@wine newbee if you have a European variety you should like the flavor more.
@Rice_Guy, I'm not sure I have any data supporting a difference in flavor between the fruit of European and American cultivars. In my garden, the flowers are notably more fragrant on my European plants, but I haven't directly compared the fruit (because I didn't protect the American plants and the birds ate most of the fruit :rolleyes: ). I think I saw at least one reference suggesting that the American cultivars are sweeter.

Regarding the dreaded green goo, I noticed a bit of this, but thankfully it wasn't a big deal for me, mostly just a ring of sticky green stuff in my primary. It came off pretty easily with some vegetable oil followed by Starsan. I included some grapes as part of my primary fermentation, so not sure if this helped. I'd be curious to know if this phenomenon relates to varietal, hardness of water, yeast or some other aspect of the fermentation process.
 

Rice_Guy

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I have tasted them on the plant and made pies with them. ? Processed ? My varieties are probably American cultivars since they aren’t very fruity flavored.
And from what I understand, e-berries have to be "processed" -- not a good idea to eat them in their natural form. That should go for using them in making wine, too -- I'm guessing.
goo has been variable from not an issue to try every solvent I have (almost every, I had a lab project with plant wax and the solvent was chloroform)
 

ChuckD

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I probably have a mix of European and native. I planted a few of them years ago as part of a wildlife planting and some came up naturally. I also gathered from “wild” plants I found in the area. I’ll have to check next year if there are any differences.

The green goo apparently is found in the stems. I separated mine by freezing the clusters on cookie sheets then shaking/rubbing the frozen berries off of the stems. I thought I did a pretty good job of getting the stem material out but there are so many fine ones that it is impossible. I could see where dehydrating the berries would allow you to use a fan to winnow the stems out

I have also eaten them straight from the plant. When ripe they are not delicious but I wouldn’t call them objectionable.
 

JustJoe

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I have made elderberry wine from berries I harvested and I had the green goo problem only the first year. I think it was somewhere in this forum that I found a cleaning process that made it easy. First I wash the buckets, carboys, utensils or what ever has the goo on it with straight vegetable oil. Then a wash with soap and water removes everything.
I enjoy the elderberry wine and now I add elderberries to almost every wine I make.
 
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